Pennsylvania changed its election rules for the upcoming election. The old rule was that for all ballots to be valid, they have to submit them by 8 pm on election night. Due to complications related to COVID-19, they changed this rule to Friday by 5 pm as long as the postmark is from November 3, 2020.

Pennsylvanian Republicans sued under the premise that voters would lose confidence in the results. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled against the Republicans, and they requested a stay during the approval process. The case is before the Supreme Court.

Since the passing of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the Supreme Court has had a vacancy on it.

The Supreme Court had eight justices, and the vote was four to four. The tie means the case reverts to the latest ruling, which allowed a three-day extension to count the ballots.

Democrats react to Supreme Court ruling

The United States does not have national election laws. Laws and regulations are the responsibility of each state. Pennsylvania’s rules for elections were to have the ballot delivered by 8 p.m. on election night.

COVID-19 increased the number of mail-in ballots exceeding the total from 2016. This increase prompted the rule change. The changes added three days to account for excess ballots and the overworked postal system.

Another reason was to guarantee every citizen the right to vote.

The restrictions from COVID-19 restricted access in different locales. This allows the voters another choice that would not have been available in other years.

Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro celebrated the decision. As reported by the National Review, he said, “that court ensured that Pennsylvanians would not be forced to choose between exercising their right to vote and protecting their health.” The extension will keep confidence in the results.

Republicans react to election day extension

The decision was disappointing to Republicans. The results of the election could be in doubt. Republicans believe the extra ballots are rife with the possibility of fraud.

Donald Trump is constantly talking about the possibility of fraud. His opponents state no proof of fraud.

This ruling does not guarantee fraud, but it does nothing to stop it either. The rule grants the right to an extension only if postmarked by November 3rd. If the postmark is not clear, then they will count the vote unless it’s determined that the ballot did not receive a postmark after November 3rd.

Pennsylvanian Republicans believe it will increase the likelihood of voter fraud. They believe that this will disenfranchise the voter. According to NBC News, Republican state legislators claimed it was “an open invitation to voters to cast their ballots after election day.”

The elected officials cannot agree on this position. Democrats believe the extension will validate official results. Republicans state it will disenfranchise voters.

Republicans believe the new rules will lead to fraud. Democrats do not believe that fraud will occur. The postmark rule is questionable whether the ballot is legitimate or discarded.

Democrats and Republicans disagree on this issue. An answer will come on the night of November 3rd. Or in Pennsylvania’s case on November 6, 2020.

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